My luck doesn’t run on four wheels

Published 9:47 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Some people have all the luck. Others seem to have none at all. When it comes to cars, I fall in the latter category.

With a unique blend of both pride and embarassment, I will tell you I drove a five-speed green Ranger pick-up truck throughout high school. It was known by two aliases – the “Green Machine” and the “Danger Ranger.”

Not all young women my age can lay claim to such a fact. Then again, I’m sure not that many want to.

The truck and I saw and experienced many things together— including many good road trips, some bad jokes from friends, and one ugly breakdown on Highway 80—before I bid it farewell earlier this summer.

I have also lived through getting a flat tire on a Birmingham interstate in my friend Molly’s dad’s pick-up truck.

To make a long story short, Molly and I tried to patch the tire with bubble gum. At the age of 19, we discovered this didn’t work in real life like it did in cartoons.

Just last week, my bad luck reached a new level.

Aspiring to be a conscientious driver, I came to a complete stop at the intersection of Marengo Drive and Dogwood Drive in my new silver Chevy Cobalt, the successor to the Danger Ranger. I must have stopped at just the right, or wrong, angle.

The front of my car hit a large ominous dip in the road.

At the thrillingly dangerous speed of five miles per hour, I managed to somehow rip a hole in my radiator and cause a catastrophic shift among all the mechanical parts that reside behind my front bumper.

“Your car is sick, and this time we can’t just give it an aspirin,” said my friendly neighborhood mechanic Garry Malone.

It goes without saying that I and my ever-patient dad have gotten to know him well throughout my automotive sagas.

“It’s going to have to stay in the hospital awhile.”

The damage incurred by my freak accident added up to a total of over 900 dollars.

Worst of all, I had to drive the Green Machine’s champagne-colored cousin, my dad’s Ranger pick-up truck, for a while until my car was discharged from the hospital.

Sometimes it seems I’m destined to always drive a Ranger.

Like I’ve been told, car trouble is like getting sick—it never happens at a good time.

Then again, I wonder why it seems to happen all the time to me.

Yet even while I have had my share of vehicular frustrations, I try to remember it could always be worse. If this is as bad as it gets, I’ll take it.

After all, these transportation mishaps make funny stories to tell at parties and such.

After the bills are paid, that is.